Interview with Chris Mellott – Constant Visibility

In the last of a series of interviews with manufacturers of aerial equipment, RER speaks with Chris Mellott, vice president of sales and market development – Americas for JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa., about fleet-management tools, hope for a 2011 recovery, JLG’s after-market support and the popularity of big booms.

RER: Tell us about new technological developments on your equipment?

Mellot: The introduction of connected asset-fleet-management tools, like ClearSky, completely transforms the way you manage your fleet. With constant visibility of equipment, you can monitor where and how machines are operating, in real time, with remote access to diagnostics and troubleshooting. This helps lower cost of ownership by delivering more run-time, reducing service calls and improving time management.

What are some of the trends you expect to see in the coming years in aerial equipment?

We are working to make an even stronger commitment to the aftermarket and supporting the equipment after the sale. This trend began in 2008 with the launch of JLG Ground Support and continues with the establishment of service providers and improved aftermarket programs designed to improve return on investment for our customers.

In terms of the rental market, we hope we may be seeing something of a recovery in the second half of this year and going into 2011. What are your expectations for the economy?

We hope that’s the case and we are expecting some improvement going into spring of 2011. While we don’t expect a return to 2008 numbers, we expect 2011 to see some gradual recovery.

What types of equipment do you recommend for rental fleets as we go into, hopefully, a recovery?

Big booms and higher capacity telehandlers have been the best sellers through the later part of the downturn. We expect sales of these units to grow, partly due to their use in stimulus- and energy-related construction.

What are some of the improvements and new developments your customers have been asking for in your equipment?

We are always looking to expand and build on our products, accessories and services to improve productivity and safety for our end-use customers and provide innovative ways to improve return on investment for our channel customers.

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